Recently, I read a blog by a well-meaning writer that made me furious. The writer was speaking to women who are deciding to start a business during the pandemic. Her approach was to encourage women to start small. The word SMALL is too often used when speaking about women.
Growth in women-owned businesses has been extraordinary for the past two decades, with a growth rate of over 5% per year. Only ten percent are employers, but we own 42% of businesses in the US, employ 9.4M people, and generate $1.9M in revenue. Impressive numbers according to NWBC 2020 Annual Report.
There is a gender gap in total revenue generated by women-owned businesses, inequities in lending, and inadequate childcare. Some we have control over, and some will take our collective leadership to change. We do have control over is how we think about our business.
Women can change how they think about themselves as business owners. While your business may start small, your vision must be BIG. What we imagine is what we are creating. How we think about business is how to build a business. How do you think about your business? Thousands of women have created large, successful businesses, but they are not the norm – not yet.
What does it mean to dream BIG! Big does not relate to size specifically. Dream Big means to know your heart’s desire, what you really want, and not to minimize that dream to something less. When we create a vision of our dream business, we do not need to know how to get there. That’s the plan for building the business and comes next.
When you dream about your ideal business, also imagine the life you want so that you are achieving both your business and life goals at the same time. This will keep you from creating a business that does not support your financially or a business that consumers your life.
Our vision must inspire us and inspire future employees to work with us to achieve it. Your vision must be something you feel is worth pursuing. Your business offers a product or service that others are looking for, and you are eager to get it to them.
Having a vision is only part of the first step. Next, find your commitment to work to achieve that vision. Are you willing to write down your vision? Can you describe what your business will look like in three, five, and ten years? You are not meant to know how to accomplish your vision at this point. Seeing the business clearly in your mind’s eye then writing it down marks a commitment and a blueprint for the business you are creating.
If you are like most new business owners, you have a passion for your product or service. You may even be an expert at it, but that is not enough. Now you have to grow as a leader of a business that delivers that product and service consistently and reliably every time. You have to build a business around that good idea. Don’t flounder. Educate yourself. Get help. There are many resources at the SBA, SCORE, SBDC, and more. Get a coach, someone who will guide you in taking the right steps in the right order to begin successfully.
Dream big. Commit. Get the help that you need to build your business the right way.